Another Christmas throwback, this one from 2017:
I just watched Miracle on 34th Street (the original, not 1994 remake), so you've caught me at a vulnerable moment.
I'm hesitant to say vulnerable because Donald Trump has forbidden any use of that word by the Centers for Disease Control.
If you've never seen Miracle, I recommend the original. Technology may have improved since 1947, but acting hasn't.
My favorite Christmas movie is Scrooged (1988) with an all-star cast including Bill Murray, Karen Allen, Bobcat Goldthwait, Robert Mitchum, Carol Kane and Alfre Woodard.
It's a Wonderful Life should be banned, but that's a whole other discussion.
I got a call yesterday from an acquaintance who needed a little help getting through Christmas. He promised to pay me back on January 6.
I told him to meet me later that day in the liquor department of my local Heinen's, where they have a little tasting bar offering a ten-ounce pour of 8% alcohol beer for $3.50.
I put some cash into an envelope I found in my wife's desk that said Merry Christmas on it. How can you give someone money for Christmas and treat it like a payday loan?
I don't say all this to get the Humanitarian of the Year award. I say it to acknowledge that there is something in the air at Christmas time. There just is.
Christmas seems to unlock some inner kindness, which is not something I believe in, yet there it is.
In his book, The Five Side Effects of Kindness, David Hamilton says, We're genetically wired to be kind.
I tend to believe that people are selfish at their core and this past year has done nothing to disprove that.
Still, there is something about this day that is unlike any other. The rational explanation would be that there is indeed, something inside us looking for an excuse to burst out.
Well aged bourbon, on the other hand, calls forth an appearance from my evil twin, Larry.
In essence, Christmas is a birthday party for Jesus. As the celebration grew in secularity, so it grew in commercialization.
Christmas evolved into people giving each other gifts in the same way that Gillette convinced women they needed to shave their underarms and legs.
Historical evidence suggests that Jesus was born at the end of March, but that would have conflicted with pagan rituals of spring, space occupied by Easter and Passover.
There's only so much room on the calendar and late December was open.
Stripping away what has evolved into a Toys-R-Us-cum-Amazon holiday, there was once a message beneath the wrapping paper that seems to have slipped away.
Jesus grew up in humble surroundings and his teachings reflected that. His message was simple and can be summed up in five words: Take care of each other.
His concern was always for the neediest among us; whether they be poor, hungry, homeless, sick or old.
How did we go from feeding the hungry to stealing their money and giving it to the rich? If you can justify that and still call yourself a Christian, then you may be a Republican.
As Michael Jackson said, I'm starting with the man in the mirror. In the practice of what I preach, I will now attempt some Christmas magic of my own.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. (Who says you can't say Merry Christmas?)
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